Time to Update the On-Net Buildings and Metro Fiber List

June 5th, 2013 by · 2 Comments

Ok, it's been almost a year since I updated my long-running statistics page summarizing the industry's metro fiber route miles and on-net buildings. That's long enough that a half dozen people have been either asking for an update or volunteering data in hopes I will get off my backside.

Therefore, for those of you out there with data to share/update, please do send it along. I'll be looking for a) metro route miles (distinct from intercity where possible, but including laterals), b) total on-net buildings, c) average/typical fiber count, or total fiber miles.  All kinds of providers, from CLEC to ILEC to MSO to managed service provider with assets from conduit on up to a few strands of dark fiber are welcome.

I'm also hoping to work in some sort of look at the breakdown by building type, although I know it's going to be a mess. Not everyone breaks things out the same way, and many don't do it at all and aren't likely to start just because of me - though the industry is somewhat less introverted than it was five years ago when I started collecting this data. While the list tends to be US-focused, I will gladly continue adding any international data I can find, and of course there is already some Canadian and European data to be had.

Some have argued that counting on-net buildings has little meaning because buildings differ so much in revenue potential, from the convenience store all the way up to skyscrapers with economies the size of small cities.  But while the  point is well taken, what this helps us look at is breadth.  The reason why incumbent providers still hold such sway is because competitive fiber doesn't go everywhere, not by a longshot.  By tracking on-net building progress, we get a better sense of where we are (or are not) in changing that state of affairs.

I hope to release the updated list, or upgraded set of lists perhaps, later this month.  Exactly when depends on how hard it is to chase it all down.  In the meantime, if there are any suggestions for how to make a better resource, I'm all ears.

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Categories: Metro fiber

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